Even though this particular topic is not one of the most famous i.e vegans that are deficient in protein, iron, calcium and other essential nutrients, this topic is one of the most important. Although we will cover all of them in due course.
What is B12?
In a nutshell B12 is a complex water-soluble (able to dissolve in water) vitamin that helps build your DNA and regulates your red blood cells in your body, basically, it is involved in every cell in the body. The lack of B12 can results in:
• extreme tiredness
• a lack of energy
• pins and needles (paraesthesia)
• a sore and red tongue
• mouth ulcers
• muscle weakness
• disturbed vision
• psychological problems, which may include depression and confusion
• problems with memory, understanding and judgement
Luckily you can read about almost everything on the internet, if you want to know more “click here”
Where you usually get your healthy dose of Vitamin B12 is through animal products such as beef, poultry, eggs and chicken. Which is a big problem for vegans because of course we don’t eat animal products at all. It’s not like the vegan diet doesn’t have any sources of B12, you can commonly find it in food sources such as dried and fermented plant foods, such as tempeh, nori and laver, a seaweed. Many other types of algae are rich in vitamin B12. However these are not common to find and you would need to eat a large amount to not be deficient in it.
GOOD NEWS HOWEVER
In the last 10 years, the government and food companies have done a lot to reduce the risk of this deficiently especially with the rise of veganism. A lot of products will fortify (artificially placed) them in products such as cereal, juice drinks and plant-based milk such as almond milk.
My advice to vegans out there with B12:
I currently take vitamin B12 tablets once a day to ensure I reduce that risk of being deficient, I only take 1 tablet a day. You can find these tables normally in your local supermarket or boots. However please consult your GP first before going on this adventure as not all please need to supplement this into their diets (even vegans).
Hope you’ve learnt a few things about B12 and it’s important in the vegan diet as well as taking on my personal advice around the problem.